Since Rick Santorum’s triple win last week the state of the Republican primary has changed dramatically. In the past 24 hours four major national polls have found Rick Santorum slightly leading or effectively tied with Mitt Romney. In addition the polls found Newt Gingrich’s support has falling significantly since his January peak.

CNN/ORC International:
Rick Santorum 34
Mitt Romney 32
Ron Paul 16
Newt Gingrich 15

CBS News/New York Times:
Rick Santorum 30
Mitt Romney 27
Ron Paul 12
Newt Gingrich 10

Gallup daily tracking poll:
Mitt Romney 32
Rick Santorum 30
Newt Gingrich 16
Ron Paul 8

Pew Research:
Rick Santorum 30
Mitt Romney 28
Newt Gingrich 17
Ron Paul 12

Santorum has experienced a huge national surge that has put him even or slightly ahead of Romney. In this erratic GOP primary almost every single candidate has had a chance to be the anti-Romney alternative, and some candidates had multiple chances.

While the Republican party will likely rally behind whomever their nominee is, the fact that the base has seriously entertained almost every possible alternative to Romney simply can’t be a reassuring sign for enthusiasm in the general if Romney eventual wins the nomination.